Electronics+Navigations

Fill 'er Up

by Sail Staff, Posted March 10, 2007
Sailors rely on batteries to power any number of gizmos, but in the case of disposable batteries, this reliance comes at a hefty cost to the consumer and to the environment. More Power 2U claims its new Battery Xtender safely and effectively recharges disposable alkaline, nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium, zinc carbon, titanium, and rechargeable alkaline manganese batteries without

Remote Controlled

by Sail Staff, Posted February 16, 2007
If you want to harness the full power of your yacht’s flat-screen TV, high-end stereo, theater-area lighting and more, you can do it with Remote Technologies’s T4 Universal Controller. The touch-panel device features an integrated 802.11 WiFi card, onboard speakers, and a 6.4-inch LCD display with full VGA resolution, allowing this handheld to display video windows and web pages. This stand-alone

Constant Watchman

by Sail Staff, Posted February 16, 2007
Clearly seeing objects at night and keeping a watchful eye on your yacht are objectives that any owner seeks, especially if these can be accomplished from anywhere. Night Vision Technologies’s 6000 series multiple-sensor vision system boasts a thermal imager, a high-resolution 312X zoom color camera, and an ultra-low-lux camera for crisp diurnal or nocturnal viewing. The unit also features a

Shakespeare ART-3

by Sail Staff, Posted November 10, 2006
That in-the-red VSWR, reading on the ART-3 tester confirmed my suspicion that while the old VHF antenna attached looks okay, it must be fried internally. VSWR stands for “voltage standing wave ratio,” but Shakespeare reasonably calls it “antenna efficiency.” The ART-3 can also test transmission wattage (only 17 with this particular antenna, but a full 25 with a decent one) and can generate a tone

Port Networks MWB

by Sail Staff, Posted September 9, 2006
Port Networks’s approach to maximized marine WiFi is to minimize coaxial loss by packing a high-powered radio and 5.5-dB antenna into a waterproof box for deployment on deck whenever you’re docked or moored. Both power and signal run through a no-loss 25-foot Ethernet cable. While the $349 MWB-200 will usually find the best available WiFi signal automatically, complete control software is

Olympus Stylus 720 SW

by Sail Staff, Posted September 9, 2006
This is one tough tiny camera. I dunked it into Boston Harbor, even photographed the muck, rinsed it under the tap, and it’s still snapping photos. Olympus’s Stylus 720 SW is shockproof, has a 3X zoom lens, and takes digital photos as large as 7.1 megapixels. Moreover, it offers 28 shooting modes, ranging from standards like “portrait” to more-esoteric operations like shooting “through glass.”

Pocket Navigator for Smartphones

by Sail Staff, Posted September 9, 2006
Pocket Navigator’s latest 5.0 release can run on “Smartphones”— cellphones using the Windows Mobile operating system. The test unit worked nicely with a Bluetooth wireless GPS, its 1-gigabyte memory card offered ample raster-chart storage, and the keypad-driven interface was good enough for backup plotting. But what’s really impressive is how the Pocket Navigator easily fetches and overlays NOAA

Marine Communications Special: 2006

by Sail Staff, Posted June 28, 2006
By Ben EllisonOn the one hand, I’m sorry to report that the U.S. Coast Guard has made little visible progress toward implementing Rescue 21, the new search-and-rescue communications system that will, eventually, unleash the potential of DSC-VHF radios. On the other hand (this comes as a real surprise), the reappearance of coastal marine VHF operators just may induce a lot of sailors to

Navigation Gear Special

by Sail Staff, Posted May 31, 2006
Cautious sailors understandably worry that the trend toward networked multifunction electronics could lead them to simultaneous multifunction failures. But the solution may be improved system architecture—as seen in Northstar’s new 8000i, diagrammed at right—not in running separate machines. Notice that the Northstar system is “masterless”—sounder, radar, cameras, and even the various sensor

Navigate in Style

by Sail Staff, Posted December 9, 2005
There’s more to navigating than gaping slack-jawed at a plotter screen. Keeping up the old skills just might save your bacon one day, and even if that day never comes, it’s fun to keep up a plot on a paper chart. This top-notch set of navigation instruments—parallel rules, dividers, compass—from Weems & Plath comes in a wooden case that’s ready for gift-wrapping. $99. Weems & Plath, 800-638-0428,
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